The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation on Friday will release online a guide to help Southland businesses prepare for the next big earthquake, with specific actions that can be taken now to better insulate operations from the destructive power of large temblors.
Many businesses seriously impacted by a major earthquake never reopen, but with this guide LAEDC aims to change the script and protect businesses — and by extension their employees — from the effects of a large earthquake.
Steps in the guide cover financial, information technology and facility resiliency, as well as employee, supplier and customer communications, drawing from the latest innovations in technology and financial tools, all designed to protect data and critical business systems from loss.
In particular, the guide encourages businesses to utilize the cloud for data backup and hosting of applications so that many processes can continue if the office is dark and employees are stuck at home.
“Organizations today are incredibly dependent on IT systems and data infrastructure, compared to 1994 when the Northridge Quake occurred,” LAEDC CEO Bill Allen said.
“But the good news is that powerful new tools have become available in the past five years that really help data resiliency and business continuity,” he said. “The trick is that businesses need to act now and use these tools to safeguard their future.”
The LAEDC recommends that businesses lessen their reliance their on on-premise computer servers that might become damaged, cover immediate cash-flow needs after a quake, and hold on to employee productivity via telecommuting. All of these steps require action prior to an earthquake event, the organization said.
“We all know that large earthquakes are an inevitable part of the future of Los Angeles, but this guide can help your business not be one of the permanent losers,” said seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones, founder of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society.
The guide is available at no cost, as part of LAEDC’s public-benefit mission, to help ensure that the economy is more resilient, businesses remain strong, and employees in the region receive needed paychecks in the weeks following a major earthquake.
The recommendations will also put readers in a better position to overcome other disasters such as wildfires.
The guide can be downloaded at laedc.org/EQ, with a Spanish version available at laedc.org/EQS.
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